Published Oct 24, 2019Ever wish Five Finger Death Punch sounded more monotone and less self-aware? No? Well, Bad Wolves have done just that, chugging their way through one of the most meat-headed stadium metal albums of all time. Even the album artwork manages to somehow be tasteless.
Bad Wolves exploded into the mainstream with their cover of the Cranberries "Zombie" after Dolores O'Riordan's death in 2017. Since then, they've tried to move on from their one super-hit, but nothing can disguise the fact that, on N.A.T.I.O.N., they've run out of ideas. Cliché after cliché, mostly from last decade, slither by on an album that's both forgettable and blindly macho. Imagine Nickelback on a Godsmack binge. Oof.
There's the breakup ballad "Better Off This Way," the breakup ballad "Sober" and the (you guessed it) breakup ballad "Crying Game." The end of a relationship can be the catalyst for great art, but Bad Wolves seem more interested in rehashing Breaking Benjamin's old tricks through the filter of a steroid-fuelled breakdown. The best things on offer are "I'll Be There" and "The Consumerist," where some choice bars are spit to remind us how awesome the wave of nu metalcore can be when done right.
The rhymes are strictly second-rate ("Learn to Walk Again" being a prime example), but the emotion is there. Bad Wolves have the public's attention, for now, but N.A.T.I.O.N. doesn't deserve it. They've still got the fire in them to potentially make a great record, but it's sure not this one. (Eleven Seven)